With EIF support, the Maldives has adopted a consistent policy approach for economic diversification, improving the ease of doing business and promoting investment and trade facilitation. As a service-based economy, the country has undergone substantive reforms, with new legislation, regulations and frameworks enabling foreign direct investment with the goal of promoting economic and social development.
EIF is working to increase the country's exports by strengthening institutional capacities to formulate and implement national trade strategies and policies.
- To support regional integration, EIF's National Implementation Unit (NIU) is providing technical assistance to facilitate and launch the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China. This bilateral cooperation has paved the way for financing mobilization for key strategic projects, including the Malé Airport and the Hulhulé-Malé Bridge.
- Trade mainstreaming initiatives are being supported including the drafting of maritime licensing regulations as well as the review and amendments of the Port Dues Act, taxi regulations and the land regulations regarding three-wheeler vehicle licensing issuance. The Maritime Safety Regulation was developed and is implemented by the Maldives Transport Authority.
- The NIU supports the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) as a “one-stop” point for the registration of all entities engaging in business in Maldives. The NIU has also supported Invest Maldives, the Government’s investment promotion arm housed in the MED, which is entrusted with promoting foreign investments to the country, with a dedicated website, www.investmaldives.org.
- Ongoing support has been provided to the management of investment project proposals received under the Special Economic Zones regime, the Government’s development initiative to create infrastructure and facilities, such as ports, airports, warehousing and export processing zones to foster export‑oriented manufacturing and service industries. Through this, funding of US$735,000 was mobilized by the MED from the private sector for the Maldives Investment Forum and Expo Maldives to promote locally made products and services.
EIF strengthened the capacity of trade facilitation institutions by focusing on: (a) customs modernization with full migration to the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA); and (b) strengthening the regulatory capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority to implement a robust economic regulatory framework to engage the private sector in management of airport infrastructure.
- 79 customs officials trained on valuation, risk management and post clearance audit. Awareness sessions and exchange programmes on valuation process and procedures, risk management, and post clearance audit were organised for 213 customs officers as well as 19 traders.
- 30 customs officers have either completed ASYCUDA training or Java training for the effective implementation of ASYCUDA.
- Customs services modernized with the live deployment of ASYCUDA World at the main sea port in Male and the Maldives Customs Services Head Office on 1 August 2016. The system has been deployed to all customs sites across the country since December 2016.